‘One of the best Mackinacs I’ve done’

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published July 23, 2015

The 91st consecutive boat race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island is now in the books, with approximately 247 boats having competed, according to 2015 Bayview Yacht Club Commodore Hanson Bratton.

The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race took place July 18-20, and although Bratton said there was a storm after the start of the race, he added that “the weather was fantastic,” helping to make for what he referred to as a “fun year.”

“I think it was a fantastic race,” said Bratton, who was part of the crew of Eagle One, which competed in the Division I Cove Island Course. “It was a relatively quick race. The nights were clear; starry nights were fantastic. There was a little bit of fog along the way and little rain here and there, but generally, the conditions were very sound.”

The race featured different divisions and classifications for sailors.

The overall winner of the Division I Cove Island Course was Il Mostro, with Peter Thornton (Chicago, Illinois) as its owner.

Flying Buffalo, with Al Declercq as its owner, took first place in the Division II Shore Course. Declercq is listed on the race website as being from Clinton Township.

Triceratops, with Jonathan Alvord (Mount Pleasant) as its owner, took the top spot in the Division III Cove Island Multihull Course.

It was the 25th race for Grosse Pointe Farms resident Rob Bunn, making him an “Old Goat,” while it was race number 50 for his dad, Bob Bunn, which makes him a “Grand Ram.”

Coming away with a first-place finish in Class M-Cruising of the Shore Course also helped make the race a “really nice” one for Rob Bunn, who was the skipper of Wind Toy IV.

“A lot of fun,” said Bunn, who said it was his sixth victory, and the seventh for his dad and the boat.

“One of the best Mackinacs I’ve done. To win with having it be my 25th and my dad’s 50th was fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better result. And my father-in-law sailed with us this year, as well, Bill Henderson. It was his 10th win. That was a milestone for him to hit; just a lot of fun. We had a really great group.”

Rob Bunn also commented on the pace of the race.

“It was a fast race,” he said. “We finished at like (2 a.m.). We usually don’t finish until some time after the sun’s up. It was a real good effort. A great race all the way around.”

Colton Weatherston was the skipper of Weather Edge III, which finished first in Class H-One Design Racing. He also took notice of the speed of the race.

“It was a really wonderful race,” said Weatherston, who is a resident of Grosse Pointe Farms. “We had good wind for the most part. It went fast — had a lot of downwind sailing. It was a little bit cold … but everybody managed to survive and stay warm.

“We’ve got a fabulous crew — it’s almost like family. We’ve been sailing together, and I think everybody really respects each other. It’s been really great.”